It's here!


The Tournament is here!!!

The best 9 days of the year start today at 4pm as people from all over the state descend on Portland, Augusta, and Bangor. Upsets will happen. Legends will be born. New champions will be crowned. And at least one kid will hit a shot he'll be talking about in bars thirty years from now.

It's going to be epic.

But first, we had some AA Quarterfinals last night.

Kevin Rugabirwa went off for 30 points as Portland blew out Edward Little in the AA North 3/6 game. They face the winner of Cheverus and Bangor, which will almost certainly be Cheverus (they're favored by 27).

With Addison Sulikowski out, the Thornton Academy girls got a huge 28 points and 17 rebounds from Emma Lizotte and led Sanford by 10 in the second half, but the Spartans rallied. Playing with 4 fouls, Julissa McBarron scored 21, Paige Sevigny added 18, and Sanford used a huge third quarter to survive.

South Portland's season started badly, to say the least. The defending champs started 0-5. But they recovered. They finished by winning 5 of their last 6 and you could start to make the case that maybe they could make another run. Their quarterfinal matchup with TA seemed like a formality. They had swept the season series, although both games had been within single digits. But TA had lost 12 in a row before finishing with a win over Bonny Eagle and teams that lose 12 straight leading into the playoffs usually don't last very long.

They got started early. Josh Vallee hit a couple threes to give them an early lead. He finished with 21. It was tied after 3, but TA pulled away in the 4th quarter to pull off the upset, 59-43. We'll have a new champion in AA boys.

Reminder of Streaming Access:

Quarterfinals are on NFHS.
Semis and Regional Finals are on WHOU.
State Games are on MPBN.

Before the tournament starts every year, I do an exercise where I pick against the Model and try to find that sleeper team that could pull off the shocking upset. Sometimes I nail it (the Wells girls in their Gold Ball run, Caribou's Gold Ball run, etc.) and sometimes that team loses their prelim game.

It starts with the Gold Ball Odds, like this for Boys B North:

This is one of the more wide-open regions in the state, but Ellsworth is the favorite to win the Region at 30.12%, but Maranacook, Old Town, and Orono are all strong contenders and Caribou and Hermon are lurking. Any of those 6 could theoretically win it. So using the Tourney Guides, I try and read the tea leaves of who makes the most sense.

This year, I dusted off the podcast feed so you can listen to it in the car on the way to the games and get good and riled up if your team wasn't picked.

This also functions as something of a tourney preview, and includes thoughts on Mr. Basketball, relegation, and a couple of other things.

It should be available wherever you podcast, or on Spotify.

I'll be at the Expo today and tomorrow with LIVE stats for every game, so if you're stuck at work or want a second screen or refuse to pay for NFHS, that's your ticket.

We might have some games from Bangor as well this year, as part of my long-term goal to have this running at all 3 sites simultaneously eventually. If that's something that would interest you, let me know! has a cool video of the workers putting together the floor at the ACC. I don't know about you, but 30 seconds in and I can already feel the energy in that building.

The nominations are open for the Maine Basketball Rankings All-State teams.

The process is simple: submit the stats for a deserving player. That'll get calculated into an EFF stat, adjusted based on your team's Strength of Schedule, and that'll determine the All-State teams. No hype. No reputation bonuses. No Southern Maine bias. It doesn't matter how much you're on Instagram. Just your stats.

Submit your players!

All-State Teams
Submit your player today!

Do you want to see a wild half-court game winner?

Of course you do.

I think we all suspected this

Medomak Valley and Yarmouth have played each other in basketball twice. The first meeting, in the 2022 Regional Final, found Yarmouth shaking off a 12-1 Medomak run to rally to victory. They would go on to win the Gold Ball. In the second, Medomak rallied down 9 in the final two minutes of regulation to force overtime. They would go on to win in double overtime.

Part three of Maine's hot new rivalry figures to be just as good.

Yarmouth has played the toughest schedule in B South and has won 10 of their last 12 since the loss to Medomak, including an impressive win over third seeded York on February 1st. They are the highest-ranked team in B South over the second half. None of the top 4 seeds wanted them in the quarterfinals.

Medomak has the 11th best offense in the state, the 2nd best defense in B South, and has beaten everyone on their schedule who isn't Oceanside or Lincoln Academy. They've got a 2-headed attack of Kory Donlin and Gabe Lash who provide matchup problems for anyone.

This will be worth the trip to the Expo.

The Model's picks for the rest of today's games are after the jump.